How Hard Will Google’s Brand Safety Scandal Hit Our Programmatic Future?

How Hard Will Google’s Brand Safety Scandal Hit Our Programmatic Future?
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, Aline Eloy (pictured below), programmatic and ad-ops director at Atomic 212°, explores some of the hurdles programmatic is facing at present, with a particular focus on brand safety.

Aline Eloy

While it would be silly to argue that programmatic hasn’t changed the way we do things – that’s simply beyond doubt – do you ever get the feeling that the buzz around it has somewhat exceeded its capabilities thus far?

A basic understanding of the programmatic market as it’s rolled out so far shows that it’s not really a channel – it’s just easier, more efficient and cheaper than buying directly from publishers, and that’s a benefit that all parties are feeling.

Programmatic Guaranteed has certainly helped grease the wheels even further. Speaking to some of Atomic’s media buying gurus, it’s made estimates of time savings of up to 70 per cent compared to the old method of contacting the publishers, the publisher checking availability and sending an IO, you signing and sending back the IO, the publisher locking in the booking, you sending them tags…

Of course, just putting all the info into a program that does the dealing for you has been a massive change for the industry – and mainly for the better.

What we haven’t seen yet though is true programmatic, wherein we can seriously minimise wastage by knowing exactly where your target audience is and serving them with creative that speaks very directly to them – even to the point that different people on different devices see different ads when accessing the same site or watching the same show.

The hope was that this would be the standard in the next few years – maybe not by 2020, but certainly by 2025. And Foxtel Go being brought into our living rooms had many industry experts predicting Australia could lead the charge.

However, a future in which we allow any and all media to be bought by an automated system has seemingly been moved back by recent developments.

As Google flagged when they released the Programmatic Guaranteed beta in January 2016, “The true value of programmatic direct will be achieved when the power of real-time, data-driven decisions is combined with access to brand safe, reserved publisher inventory currently available through direct sales”.

It’s interesting to note that Google made a point of saying “brand-safe” almost 18 months ago because, as we’ve seen this year, that’s been something of a sticking point for them of late.

Brand safety

One of Google parent company Alphabet’s biggest brands, YouTube, took a serious, worldwide slamming over the past few months.

Briefly, UK companies began pulling ads from the video platform in March after they noticed they were being pre-rolled on some, shall we say, ‘questionable’ videos.

The company sought to minimise the damage, with Google UK managing director Ronan Harris writing a blog post in which he promised, “We’ve begun a thorough review of our ads policies and brand controls, and we will be making changes in the coming weeks to give brands more control over where their ads appear across YouTube and the Google Display Network”.

But a matter of days later, Aussie companies such as Holden and Kia pulled their ads after they appeared on more videos featuring the kind of content family car companies would really rather not be associated with.

Google made the point that what they’re dealing with is an issue that stems from the unfathomably large amount of content they are dealing with – as Harris put it, “with millions of sites in our network and 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, we recognise that we don’t always get it right”.

But Kia appeared to have identified a different culprit, with a spokesperson telling the Australian Financial Review, “As of now, programmatic advertising has been suspended until such time as we can meet with Google to further clarify the application of this advertising”.

Searching for a solution

Now, the search giant isn’t the kind of company to simply put their head in the sand and pretend an issue isn’t their problem, with AdNews reporting they had seen the company’s newly-created ‘Brand Care Playbook’ document in early April.

Interestingly, that same story also said Google would be “‘significantly increasing’ its enforcement team that reviews suitable content on a daily basis”.

But people are already people spooked. If programmatic could do this to Google, what does it mean for smaller publishers, who would have been following the market leader’s efforts?

Ultimately, the time and money savings that programmatic offers, as well as the potential for all but ending wastage, means that it’s the industry’s future. It has to be.

But just because something is inevitable doesn’t mean it’s ready to be rolled out right now.

Google’s brand safety scandal won’t stop programmatic’s inexorable march, but it is a timely reminder to all of us to both be aware of our blind spots, and occasionally to remind ourselves that they’re called ‘blind spots’ because we can’t see them.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Western Australia Gets Its First Influencer Marketing Agency
  • Marketing

Western Australia Gets Its First Influencer Marketing Agency

Western Australia’s first dedicated social influencer marketing agency will launch next week to service the state’s new and rapidly growing digital industry. The Influencer Agency – TIA – brings strategy, accountability and measurement to influencer marketing for WA brands using WA influencers. TIA will also assist influencers wanting to grow their brand by developing new […]

One-on-one With Marie Claire Editor Nicky Briger
  • Media

One-on-one With Marie Claire Editor Nicky Briger

Following the launch of the revamped marieclaire.com.au, editor Nicky Briger spoke to Magazine Networks about all it can offer readers. In September, Pacific Magazines unveiled an all-new digital experience for Marie Claire. Led by design thinking, the new look marieclaire.com.au was crafted to provide a better reader experience across all devices. It’s a testament to […]

Women’s Health Unveils Its New Premium Digital Experience
  • Media

Women’s Health Unveils Its New Premium Digital Experience

Pac Mags’ Women’s Health has unveiled an all-new premium digital experience. With a faster, cleaner, more intuitive and visually consistent brand experience across all devices, the new look is designed to optimise the user’s journey with less clutter, discoverable content and seamless integration for commercial partners. Will Everitt, head of product and technology said: “The digital evolution of […]

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins

Independent agency Inlight has announced it has won the digital account for Benetas, a not-for-profit aged care provider in Victoria. Following a competitive pitch process, Inlight was chosen to handle Benetas’ new website design, build and ongoing optimisation. Richard Barker, marketing manager at Benetas, said: “We wanted an agency that could be our true digital […]

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Marketing

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

With almost 30 awards handed out, B&T predicts plenty of numb bottoms at last night's AMI Awards in Melbourne.

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits
  • Advertising

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits

Sure, B&T flashed the news of Andy Pontin quitting this morning. White lies aside, he's actually still got six months.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record
  • Advertising
  • Media

Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record

B&T's journo is reporting live from the annual Adobe Summit in Vegas. Although, "reporting" is somewhat of a stretch.

Opinion

by David Hovenden

David Hovenden
Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses
  • Marketing

Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses

The Australian College of Marketing is collaborating with the Digital Women’s Network to bring new short courses aimed to provide the latest skills across all aspects of the Digital landscape, kicking off in Melbourne and Sydney in 2018. Course content will focus around various topics related to the digital marketing landscape. All courses will run […]

Man working at office desk, looking at computer and scratching head
  • Technology

Where Are Digital & Tech Skills & Salaries Headed?

The rapid pace of technological change in the digital sector is seeing demand for those with the right skill sets outstrip availability, both locally and globally. The individuals who have kept their skills up to date are being well-rewarded financially. Now, Digital + Technology Collective’s expanded annual Skills and Salary Survey will put some numbers and context […]

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams

Disney and ESPN have formed an even closer bond, announcing a new alignment of the two properties through their media sales and partnerships teams. Instead of entering through three doors, Disney ESPN Media Sales & Partnerships will give media buyers and marketers a refined, singular point of entry for Disney, ESPN Digital and Maker. Nik […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends

Sydney-based adtech start-up Muzaara has announced a new strategic partnership with performance marketing platform Commission Factory. Together, Muzaara and Commision Factory are providing SMEs with a secret weapon to skyrocket their online brand visibility and effectively manage and maximise their online advertising campaigns. This partnership will allow both online marketing companies and their impressive roster […]

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has joined forces with Shazam and digital agency Orchard to deliver a first-of-its-kind augmented reality (AR) Halloween Trick or Treat experience for families. The campaign, which leverages Shazam’s visual recognition platform and recently-launched AR platform, sees Kellogg’s pilot the replacement of physical gifts in cereal packs with a digital experience that […]

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency
  • Advertising

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency

Kraft Heinz today confirmed the appointment of Cummins&Partners as its new Creative agency after an extensive pitch process. They will be responsible for brand strategy and integrated creative across the expanding Kraft Heinz portfolio including Kraft, Heinz and Golden Circle. A Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: “After an exhaustive search involving a competitive pitch, we have made […]

Patrick Delany (CEO, Fox Sports), Hugh Marks (CEO, Nine Entertainment Co), Miranda Devine (Columnist, News Corp), Michael Miller (Executive Chairman, News Corp Australasia), Grant Blackley (CEO & Managing Director, Southern Cross Austereo) at Radio Alive 2017
  • Media

Media Bosses Weigh In On Ten-CBS Deal

Do you enjoy articles featuring industry big-wigs? Well, it doesn't come much bigger and wiggier than this, we say.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kantar TNS’ Ali Dexter Joins T Garage As Director Of Insights & Strategy
  • Marketing

Kantar TNS’ Ali Dexter Joins T Garage As Director Of Insights & Strategy

Melbourne-based market research consulting agency T Garage has announced the appointment of Ali Dexter as its director of insights and strategy. Dexter joins T Garage from Kantar TNS, where she was the director of its Qualitative division. Prior to that, Dexter held a number of senior roles at Kantar TNS in the US and Vietnam.  “After […]

XXXX on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Jeff Bottari/AP Images for Adobe)
  • Advertising

Adobe Releases Advertising Cloud App

Not one, but two Adobe announcements. The tech elves have been busy this week, not that we're inferring Adobe is Santa.